May 20, 2013

gall and cedar materials gathered locally for dyeing

gall and cedar materials gathered locally for dyeing

So back to the studio of Yamazaki sensei and a brief workshop on natural dyeing on Gunma silk.  The two dyes that were prepared for us were  gall nut and cedar.  Both were collected from the immediate area at the height of their season or at the best point of collection for optimal dyeing results. The gall nut results when insects bore into the woody part of the tree (these were oak galls I believe).  The tree responds in defense by extruding a tannin rich nut around the insect eggs.  These galls(nuts) are then collected for use in making a dye liquor after removing insects from inside.  Yamazaki sensei stores these galls in the freezer for later use.  The gall liquor was mordanted with iron to produce a grey/purple color.  The cedar was collected across the road from the studio and steeped in water to extract the  color.  It was then left overnight to oxidize, changing from a yellow to a brownish liquor.  When treated with an aluminum mordant the cedar produced a soft orange color on silk.

A few photos-

Yamazaki sensei explains

Yamazaki sensei explains

The gall nuts are opened and the grey-ish powder inside (insect eggs) is removed.

3 containers-dye, rinse, and mordant

3 containers-dye, rinse, and mordant

It takes many dips into the dye to build the color-rinsing and mordanting each time.

the group at work

the group at work

they were all set up for us and a group of women we had previously worked with came to assist.

drying in the wind

drying in the wind

the resulting colors

cedar dyed and the cedar trees in the background

cedar dyed and the cedar trees in the background

After looking over his work and the opportunity to make a purchase, we were served tea and chestnut sweets followed by a short trip to a local restaurant with a spectacular sweeping rooftop view of the area.  The women who had assisted us came and we were able to talk and see some of their work over a lovely lunch.  Omiyage were exchanged and we said our goodbyes.

rooftop view

rooftop view

 

silk panel

silk panel

 

omiyage- a silk pouch with a sewing kit and silk cocoon flowers

omiyage- a silk pouch with a sewing kit and silk cocoon flowers

We are still on the Ginza but today I will take a group to Asakusa and the Amuse Museum to see their collection of boro, sashiko, and ukiyoe.

じゃまた!

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